Department of the Air Force delegates approval authority for nonchargeable emergency leave of absence Published Sept. 8, 2020 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force recently announced the delegation of the approval authority for emergency leave of absence from the Secretary of the Air Force to unit commanders or civilian directors. Unit commanders or civilian directors may now grant an emergency leave of absence for qualifying emergencies, including the death or serious medical condition of an immediate family member, or any other hardship the commander or director determines appropriate. “This delegation gives commanders and civilian directors the flexibility to assist their Airmen and Space Professionals directly and eliminates steps to get this type of leave approved,” said Lisa Truesdale, deputy director of Air Force military force management policy. “Additionally, our leaders can now aid their members faster and help prevent them from going into an unfavorable leave status in such a difficult time.” The newly delegated emergency leave of absence differs from emergency leave. Emergency leave of absence may be granted once during an entire service member’s career and is nonchargeable to the member’s leave balance. It is granted only to prevent the service member from entering advanced or excess leave status, and can only be granted for up to 14 consecutive days. Emergency leave is chargeable leave and may be approved for the same reasons as emergency leave of absence. There are no restrictions on the number of times emergency leave can be granted. Consult AFI 36-3003 Military Leave Policy for additional details.